Miller Center

David Adesnik

History, Oxford University

The Rebirth of American Democracy Promotion: Carter and Reagan in Central America

Adesnik photo

David Adesnik is Policy Director at the Foreign Policy Initiative.

He focuses on defense and strategy issues. Previously, Adesnik was a visiting fellow at the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. For two years, he served as deputy director for Joint Data Support at the U.S. Department of Defense, where he focused on the modeling and simulation of irregular warfare and counterinsurgency. Adesnik also spent several years as research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses. In that capacity, he spent several months in Baghdad as an operations research and systems analyst for Multinational Corps–Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2008, he was part of the foreign policy and national security staff for John McCain’s presidential campaign. 

Adesnik's academic interests include the impact of rhetoric on foreign policy, democracy promotion, and Latin America. He received his Ph.D. and Masters of Philosophy from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. His dissertation focused on the Reagan administration’s approach to democracy promotion. David received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University. He has been the recipient of fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Harvard University, and the University of Virginia. His work has been published in Foreign Policy, The Weekly Standard, The National Review, The Washington Free Beacon, The Washington Quarterly, Forbes.com, FoxNews.com and The Daily Caller. David has served as a commentator on several cable television networks and radio programs.

Fellowship year: 2005

Mentor: Melvyn Leffler, University of Virginia

Selected Recent Publications

"The Logic of American Exceptionalism.The Journal of International Security Affairs, no. 26 (Spring/Summer 2014).

"Rand Paul Sees No Threat From Terrorist Safe Havens In Iraq.Forbes, June 20, 2014.

"O’s Counterterrorism Fund.National Review Online, June 4, 2014.

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